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UK Game Stores Saved From Complete Annihilation

Illustration for article titled UK Game Stores Saved From Complete Annihilation

British video game retailer Game is still an ongoing concern, thanks to the efforts (read: money) of private investment firm OpCapita, now the proud owner of the 333 remaining store locations throughout the United Kingdom.

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Having been in financial hot water for quite some time, Game's troubles became abundantly clear to customers earlier this year when the retailer's strict penny-pinching procurement terms resulted in major titles such as EA's Mass Effect 3 not making it to store shelves.

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On March 21 Game Group announced intentions to go into administration. On March 26 administrators from PricewaterhouseCooper took control of the company, immediately closing 276 of the company's 609 UK locations.

Yesterday investment firm OpCapita stepped up to bat, purchasing the remaining 333 stores for £50 million (around $80 million USD). The move saved the jobs of some 3,200 workers.

"We strongly believe there is a place on the high street for a video gaming specialist and we have assembled a strong team to implement the programme of operational change needed," said OpCapita's managing director Henry Jackson. "There is a huge amount to do but we look forward to the challenge of restoring Game's fortunes in partnership with its employees and suppliers."

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Suppliers might be a problem, as the agreement does nothing to assuage the £40 million of debt owned them, while £88 million in loan credit was slashed by 55 percent.

With the UK branches of Game taken care of, PricewaterhouseCooper can now work on determining the final fate of the 1,270 stores located overseas.

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OpCapita pays £50m for 333 Game stores [Telegraph.co.uk]

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DISCUSSION

YouMincingNinny
You Mincing Ninny

British people: Do the people at this store hang around just behind your left shoulder—like a journalist's North Korean government-assigned minder—while you're looking at the racks with a big smile and a "WELCOME TO [storename]! Can I help you with anything?"

And when you go to buy something, do they quietly accept your method of payment and let you get out of there, or is there a high-pressure hit-up for "Are you a member of [b.s., non-moneysaving loyalty program]? No? You sure you don't want to be? It's just a [ridiculous lowball estimate of how much time it will actually take]-minute process."

Because that is the experience of shopping at GameStop, Best Buy and every other non-Internet, non-Mom-n-Pop retailer now in the U.S. When GameStop goes under, they'll whine and bitch about the cruel sales environment. But it will be THIS that killed them. THIS and nothing else.